Fighting game

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A fighting game is a video game genre based around close combat between a limited number of characters, in a stage in which the boundaries are fixed. The characters fight each others until they defeat their opponents or the time expires. The matches typically consist of several rounds, in an arena, with each character having different abilities but each is relatively viable to choose. Players must master techniques such as blocking, counter-attacking, and chaining attacks together into "combos". Starting in the early 1990s, most fighting games allowed the player to execute special attacks by performing specific input combinations. The fighting game genre is related to but distinct from beat 'em ups, which involve large numbers of enemies against the human player.

The first game to feature fist fighting was Heavyweight Champ in 1976, but it was Karate Champ which popularized one-on-one martial arts games in arcades in 1984. The following year, Yie Ar Kung-Fu featured antagonists with differing fighting styles, while The Way of the Exploding Fist further popularized the genre on home systems. In 1987, Street Fighter introduced hidden special attacks. In 1991, Capcom's highly successful Street Fighter II refined and popularized many of the conventions of the genre. The fighting game subsequently became the preeminent genre for competitive video gaming in the early to mid-1990s, particularly in arcades. This period spawned dozens of other popular fighting games, including franchises like Street Fighter, Super Smash Bros., Tekken, and Virtua Fighter.

Definition

Fighting games are a type of action game where two (or sometimes more) on-screen characters fight each other.[1][2][3][4] These games typically feature special moves that are triggered using rapid sequences of carefully timed button presses and joystick movements. Games traditionally show fighters from a side-view, even as the genre has progressed from two-dimensional (2D) to three-dimensional (3D) graphics.[2] Street Fighter II, though not the first fighting game, popularized and standardized the conventions of the genre,[5] and similar games released prior to Street Fighter II have since been more explicitly classified as fighting games.[4][5] Fighting games typically involve hand-to-hand combat, but may also feature melee weapons.[6]

This genre is distinct from beat 'em ups, another action genre involving combat, where the player character must fight many weaker enemies at the same time.[4] During the 1980s publications used the terms "fighting game" and "beat 'em up" interchangeably, along with other terms such as "martial arts simulation" (or more specific terms such as "judo simulator").[7][8][9] With hindsight, critics have argued that the two types of game gradually became dichotomous as they evolved, though the two terms may still be conflated.[4][10] Fighting games are sometimes grouped with games that feature boxing, UFC, or wrestling.[6][10] Serious boxing games belong more to the sports game genre than the action game genre, as they aim for a more realistic model of boxing techniques, whereas moves in fighting games tend to be either highly exaggerated or outright fantastical models of Asian martial arts techniques.[2] As such, boxing games, mixed martial arts games, and wrestling games are often described as distinct genres, without comparison to fighting games, and belong more into the Sports game genre.[11][12]

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